Zimbabwe Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi yesterday said people were free to join political parties of their choice and could not, therefore, be forced to join any party by anyone.
He had been asked by Prince Dubeko Siabnda what the government was doing to protect teachers from an association called Teachers for ED which was coercing district school inspectors and headmasters to attend its meetings and functions.
Apparently not happy with the minister’s response, Sibanda asked whether members of the association would be allowed to be polling officers at next year’s election since the association was politically aligned.
Ziyambi said that the government did not have a policy of asking civil servants for political cards before they were enrolled to do the work that they were supposed to.
Q & A:
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. However, I have heard of his absence and therefore, I will ask the Leader of Government Business. Hon. Speaker, there is an association for teachers that goes by the name of ‘Teachers for ED’ which is coercing District Schools Inspectors and school headmasters to attend its meetings and functions. What is the Government policy in protecting teachers from this coercion, and intimidation by a political association of teachers? I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. Hon. Sibanda says that there are teachers who are being forced to join a political party that is not of their choice. Our law does not allow anyone to join a political party except of their own free volition. I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Leader of the Government Business please, may you listen to the question? You may proceed Hon. Sibanda.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Madam Speaker, my supplementary question to the Hon. Leader of Government Business is, looking at the fact that this association is politically aligned; will those members of that association be allowed to be polling officers in the next general election, looking at the fact that they are politically aligned? I thank you.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. Madam Speaker, we do not have a policy of going about asking civil servants for their political cards before they are enrolled to do work that they are supposed to do. I thank you.